As political dust-ups go, the dispute between Enstrom Candies and Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino may seem like little more than a tempest in a toffee tin, but it does raise some interesting questions.

The first, of course, is this: Why does Ferrandino feel compelled to repeatedly and publicly disparage toffee in general, and Enstrom’s by default, since it is Colorado’s most famous brand of toffee and boxes of it are given to state lawmakers each year on Valentine’s Day?

Ferrandino called toffee “the fruitcake of the confectionary world,” an insult to both toffee and the rare, tasty fruitcakes.

As a result, Rick Enstrom, the head of the company’s Front Range operations and a one-time Mesa County commissioner, decided not to send any toffee to legislators this year. Instead, the company will donate boxes of toffee to a Denver charity that assists the victims of domestic violence.

So, did Enstrom’s overreact? Should the 99 other lawmakers, most of whom are likely toffee lovers, be punished for the sourpuss remarks of the speaker? Ferrandino also told The Denver Post it’s not just toffee he despises. Berries are also on his list.

What? All berries? Strawberries? Raspberries? Blueberries and blackberries? Serviceberries?

Are berries the liver wurst of the fruit world? How many berry growers will now boycott the Colorado Legislature?

Then, of course, there is this question: Is Ferrandino secretly working for Enstrom Candies? Because he has provided the company bushels of publicity that must be as sweet to Enstrom as a crate of its fine toffee.


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